We (there were 5 of us) walked out of the hotel and towards the centre of town. We wanted crepes-not just crepes but galettes, those thin buckwheat pancakes that are a specialty of Brittany. We passed by one empty restaurant and entered another full of locals. The proprietor approached us with a terrified face, "We've stopped serving!" In fact, everything around us was starting to close. St. Malo is not a big city.
We decided to make the trek to the walled city. Surely the centre of town would have restaurants that were open late?
We happened upon the Café Licorne, near the main entrance in the wall. Like many of the cafés in the main area, it had tables extending out into the street. We first checked to see if the kitchen was still open-the proprietor thought about it for a while and decided that she would make us galettes since we were not too large a group. What a relief! We were starving!
I chose the galette complete-the classic pancake filled with cheese, ham, and an egg. Breaking into a soft yolk is still one of my great joys! The ham was a revelation-nothing like those sealed packets of pressed ham that I'm familiar with. Others tried the four cheese varieties and other fillings, like mushrooms, bacon, or cream. They were all very tasty.
One galette, though, does not fill up the average student stomach. Optimistically, we each ordered a sweet crepe for dessert. Galettes are only served with savoury fillings. I chose the creme de marron-a tasty puree of sweetened chestnuts. My friends all chose banana with chocolate sauce. The bananas were unexpectedly stewed. Oh boy, we all struggled to finish our dessert crepes. It would have been wiser to split them.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of galettes and now have to find somewhere to get them in London!
London, United Kingdom
November 14, 2004
From journal St. Malo - City of Corsairs